A local church has been sealed off after a lightning strike caused extensive damage and left the structure unsafe.

St Tysul’s Church yard and cemetery have been closed off for repair work, and next month’s Remembrance Day service has been forced to relocate to Tysul Hall.

Llandysul community councillors were told that substantial damage had been caused to the church tower, and by falling debris. The area will remain closed until work is completed.

Cllr Abby Reid said: “There is a massive hole in the church and it’s not safe to go in. We may not be back in for Christmas.”

She added: “Things are still coming down, so the church yard is going to stay shut. It’s just too dangerous.”

Rev Gareth Reid wrote to last week’s council meeting to inform members about the change of plan for the remembrance service.

The procession will begin at the village’s memorial park at 10.40am, followed by a two minutes silence at Tysul Hall.

Community Council Chairman Tom Cowcher will give a reading at the service.

Councillors heard that there were plans to project a picture of the rolls of honour onto a wall in the hall during the event, as there were no other churches big enough in the parish to accommodate the numbers expected at the service.

Cllr Terry Griffiths told the meeting that the remembrance service should be the council’s responsibility, and the Memorial Park could be the ideal location for the event, weather permitting.

Other councillors stated that it appeared the vicar had matters in hand following the incident at the church, and plans were progressing well.

Cllr Cowcher added: “I feel Gareth has taken the initiative here, which we are grateful for.”

Rev Gareth Reid, Priest-in-charge told the Tivy-Side that measures had been taken to protect items inside the church from the elements, and meetings are being held in the church meeting room at the usual times.

He said: “Safety fencing has now been put up around the church, but until scaffolding is put up, and a few more stones have been moved, we are being advised to keep the churchyard shut.

“We have been told every effort will be made to have the church open by Christmas, but we will have to discuss alternatives for that busy period.”

Rev Reid added: “I would like to thank Tysul Hall for their support with Remembrance Sunday - it has been a big help.”

For more information about the church services visit www.sttysulonline.co.uk.